Ralf Garrison: May 2008 Mountain Travel Market Monitor Report | SummitDaily.com

Ralf Garrison: May 2008 Mountain Travel Market Monitor Report

Mountain Travel Market Monitor Report

Editor’s Note:

Our May Monitor reports business as of April 30, which is the seasonal solstice; the end of “Winter” and start of “Summer”, and is a perfect time to recap winter and take a good forward-look at the developing summer season:

About Winter 2007-08:

Nov. 1, 2007-April 30, 2008: The winter season has ended slightly down in occupancy (-2.7 percent) and up solidly in rate (+ 8.7 percent). Plentiful snow across most of North America “trumped” other unfavorable market forces, of which there was no shortage. Skier days, being reported later this month are also expected to be up, largely due to local/seasons pass activity.

Individual results varied significantly from resort to resort, and within resorts, from property to property. Darwin is not being even handed, as economic pressures are creating winners and losers.

April was down significantly in both occupancy (-14.2 percent) and revenue (-13.1 percent). Those with aggressive spring promotions were able to fill some “post-Easter” space, but results appear inconsistent despite continued plentiful snow.

On the national front, overall economic pressure has not let up and effects of the credit crunch continue to ripple through the economy. The housing market and its relatives in construction and real estate are the most impacted segments but the financial/banking institutions are a close second, which has broader negative impacts on all segment of the economy. Pundits suggest that “we are in the belly of it.” and the bottom has not been reached nor is it insight.

Rising fuel costs are showing up big time at the gas pumps and in airline price increases, both of which do not bode well for consumers in general or leisure travel in particular, evidenced by further drops in these respective indexes (see below).

There is clearly pressure on leisure travel and the summer travel season, evidenced by a new Yesawich study, showing “intent to travel,” down by 16 percent and no clear distinction between bargain, mid-range and luxury travel segments, all being impacted similarly.

It is logical to assume that we are in for a tough summer season, however MTRIP’s Reservation Activity Outlook as of April 30, is down only slightly.

There you have it. …

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